Patek Philippe - The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE Geneva Friday, May 12, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1940
    Reference No: 591
    Movement No: 862'470
    Case No: 621'704
    Model Name: "Fagiolino"
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13''', 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Alligator
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe buckle stamped PPco
    Dimensions: 34mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with silvered dial, raised gold indexes and tachometer scale in 1940 and its subsequent sale on November 4th, 1940.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Patek Philippe first launched reference 591 in 1938. At the time of production, the model was entirely different from anything that the manufacture had ever produced. The case, produced by Wenger, featured "bean" shaped lugs, lovingly dubbed "Fagiolino", or "little bean". The angular, and relatively sharp lines starkly contrasted with the smooth Calatrava design of reference 130 and 533. Reference 591 was also larger than its chronograph siblings, boasting a 34 millimeter case diameter, giving the watch a modern aesthetic today.

    This particular example is preserved in wonderful condition, with a crisp and sharp hallmark between the pushers. The dial furthermore retains its long signature, with a strong accent in the "Genève" text. Retaining its original crown, one can admire how remarkably well-preserved the lugs are. It is particularly easy to spot polishing on this reference, as the lugs and bezel easily lose their definition.

    It is interesting to note that the inside case back has multiple service markings from the same watchmaker. One can only conclude that the watch was lovingly well preserved and maintained by its previous owner.

    Reference 591 was produced in exceedingly small numbers. In fact, it is the rarest chronograph model that the firm produced throughout the 1930s and 1950s. Research suggests that less than 17 examples cased in yellow gold have appeared on the market thus far, with approximately 34 examples produced in total. The last yellow gold example surfaced in 2013, which really enhances the utmost rarity of the present watch.

  • Artist Biography

    Patek Philippe

    Swiss • 1839

    Since its founding in 1839, this famous Geneva-based firm has been surprising its clientele with superbly crafted timepieces fitted with watchmaking's most prestigious complications. Traditional and conservative designs are found across Patek Philippe's watches made throughout their history — the utmost in understated elegance.

    Well-known for the Graves Supercomplication — a highly complicated pocket watch that was the world’s most complicated watch for 50 years — this family-owned brand has earned a reputation of excellence around the world. Patek's complicated vintage watches hold the highest number of world records for results achieved at auction compared with any other brand. For collectors, key models include the reference 1518, the world's first serially produced perpetual calendar chronograph, and its successor, the reference 2499. Other famous models include perpetual calendars such as the ref. 1526, ref. 3448 and 3450, chronographs such as the reference 130, 530 and 1463, as well as reference 1436 and 1563 split seconds chronographs. Patek is also well-known for their classically styled, time-only "Calatrava" dress watches, and the "Nautilus," an iconic luxury sports watch first introduced in 1976 as the reference 3700 that is still in production today.

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Ref. 591
A fine, very rare and attractive yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with "bean"-shaped lugs

34mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF40,000 - 70,000 

Sold for CHF62,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017